Los Angeles County Department of Public Health | Los Angeles County COVID-19 Update: 1,185 New Cases, 19 Deaths 8/17/2020
County officials provide updates, and answer questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic for August 17th, 2020.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) continues seeing decreases and stabilizing of key indicators, including daily hospitalizations and deaths.
There are 1,341 confirmed cases currently hospitalized and 33% of these people are confirmed cases in the ICU. In the last month, daily hospitalizations have decreased by 37%, from 2,219 in mid-July to 1,388 in mid-August.
Today, Public Health reports 19 new deaths and 1,185 new cases of COVID-19. In late July, the average daily reported deaths was 43. Now, in mid-August, Public Health is seeing an average of 30 reported deaths per day.
To date, Public Health identified 223,131 positive cases of COVID-19 across all areas of L.A. County, and a total of 5,273 deaths. Upon further investigation, 24 cases reported earlier were not LA County residents.
Public Health still anticipates receiving backlog cases from the state electronic lab report (ELR). Data sources that track other key indicators, including hospitalizations and deaths, are not affected by this reporting issue.
Of the 19 new deaths, seven people that passed away (excluding Long Beach and Pasadena) were over the age of 80 years old, five people who died were between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, four people who died were between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, two people who died were between the ages of 30 and 49 years old and one person who died was between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. Thirteen people had underlying health conditions including six people over the age of 80 years old, three people between the ages of 65 and 79 years old, two people between the ages of 50 and 64 years old, one person between the ages of 30 and 49 years old, and one person between the ages of 18 and 29 years old. Ninety-two percent of the people who died from COVID-19 had underlying health conditions. Of those who died, information about race and ethnicity is available for 4,960 people (99 percent of the cases reported by Public Health); 50% of deaths occurred among Latino/Latinx residents, 24% among White residents, 15% among Asian residents, 10% among African American/Black residents, less than 1% among Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander residents and 1% among residents identifying with other races.
Testing results are available for more than 2,093,000 individuals with 10% of all people testing positive.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have suffered the loss of someone they love to COVID-19. We are so sorry for your loss,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. ” The data suggests we are heading in the right direction in reducing transmission of the virus, and it is a testament to all of the residents and businesses who understand and take to heart their role in getting us to the other side of this pandemic with fewer cases, illnesses and deaths. Across the country and here in LA County we have seen many reports of gatherings for parties, weddings, worship services and other celebrations resulting in a participant unknowingly infecting other attendees. These gatherings, especially when they are indoors, have significant potential for infecting many people. We all want to be with others – it is natural to want that connection. But non-essential activities carry with them a lot of unnecessary risk, and could easily result in the tragedy of someone becoming very ill and even passing away. Wearing a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth, avoiding gatherings, keeping physical distance from others when you are out of your home, and frequently washing your hands are activities proven to help slow the spread — but we all must do them and be diligent.”
The state is monitoring all counties on six indicators to determine their progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19. These indicators include testing capacity, how much transmission of the virus is happening in a community, how many people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19, and the capacity of hospitals to care for people with COVID-19 with adequate numbers of available Intensive Care Unit beds and ventilators. LA County is meeting five of the state’s six indicators. To meet all six indicators, Public Health has to lower the case rate; this is the number of positive cases in LA County per 100,000 people over a 14-day period. Currently, the County’s 14-day cases per 100,000 people is 295, which is significantly higher than the state’s threshold of having fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 people.
The state monitors all counties closely on these indicators to understand their progress on controlling the transmission, to provide technical assistance to counties who need it and to ultimately make decisions about how counties can proceed with re-openings. Public Health has been engaged in contact tracing since the first cases arrived this spring and the department continues contact tracing, even as the number of cases have increased over the summer. Since the beginning of August, completed case investigation interviews have increased 20% from 63% of cases completing the interview to, as of this weekend, 75%.
Throughout the COVID-19 response, Public Health has issued isolation and quarantine orders to almost 230,000 people infected with the virus or exposed to it. Of those, 177,959 were isolation orders to people who have been infected and 51,418 were quarantine orders to close contacts of infected people.
The COVID-19 contact tracing program will continue to be in place as long as this virus continues to spread. Obtaining as much information as possible from people during the case investigation interview helps contain this virus.
Given past ELR delays, the department urges any person with a positive lab result to call 1-833-540-0473 to connect with a public health specialist who can provide information about services and support. Residents who do not have COVID-19 should continue to call 211 for resources or more information.
The Reopening Protocols, COVID-19 Surveillance Interactive Dashboard, Roadmap to Recovery, Recovery Dashboard, and additional things you can do to protect yourself, your family and your community are on the Public Health website, www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/(c) 2020 SCVTV